The HSE chief executive Paul Reid says he is “very concerned” about the number of people in hospital with Covid-19.
There are currently 90 hospitalised with the virus, compared to 23 four weeks ago.
Paul Reid says there are 19 cases of the virus in intensive care units, up from just eight a month ago.
However, the HSE’s chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry has warned that more intensive care beds are not the solution to the spread of Covid-19.
“We can’t rely on intensive care beds as a line of defence,” Dr Henry told Newstalk Breakfast, adding that the only way to prevent spread of the virus was to limit contacts.
“We need to reduce any opportunity to catch [Covid]. You need to assume you have the virus in terms of your social contacts.”
Dr Henry said that while there was the aim to double the number of ICU beds, that would not prevent community transfer which was the problem.
“Yes, we absolutely need more beds, they were at a miserable 225 and we’re at 278 beds now.”